CJI Lalit-led bench will hear pleas of Siddique Kappan & Gautam Navlakha, PILs on Monday

The Chief Justice of India U U Lalit-headed bench will hear the bail plea of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, a petition of activist Gautam Navlakha and some important PILs on Monday, his first working day in the Supreme Court as the CJI.

Justice Lalit was sworn in as the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday, a non-working day in the Supreme Court.

According to the cause list uploaded in the apex court website, CJI Lalit will hold the bench in the court number one with Justice S Ravindra Bhat on Monday.

Kerala-based journalist Kappan, arrested in October 2020 while on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a young Dalit woman had died after allegedly being gang-raped, has approached the top court seeking bail in the case.

A Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had earlier this month rejected his bail application. Kappan was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the alleged Hathras conspiracy case.

His plea, on being mentioned for an urgent hearing, was directed to be listed on August 26 by former Chief Justice N V Ramana last week.

Chief Justice Lalit, along with Justice Bhat, will also hear an appeal filed by human rights activist Navlakha, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, against the Bombay High Court order of April 26, rejecting his plea that he be placed under house custody instead of being lodged in prison.

The case against Navlakha and other arrested accused pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017.

Police had alleged that the event was funded by Maoists.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Lalit is scheduled to hear a number of fresh PILs on various issues.

The top court is also scheduled to hear a batch of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict which dismissed the petitions seeking permission to wear Hijab inside the classroom saying Hijab is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islamic faith.

On August 2, then Chief Justice N V Ramana, while hearing a plea for urgent listing of appeals and other petitions on the Hijab row, had said that the court would hear a batch of pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict.

The top court on July 13 had agreed to hear the petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict on the issue.

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